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Still Struggling
Hello All,

My journey began with me waking after 5-6 hours 4 months ago feeling very anxious and unable to return to sleep for the most part. At this time I also noticed that when I would try to go back to sleep I would wake up hearing myself gagging. This has progressed over the last 4 months to occasional mid night waking from choking without the CPAP though it is infrequent. I also can feel obstruction when i'm awake/after meals but not enough to gag. Seeing an ENT about this soon. This of course led to persistent groggy daytimes. I should add that i've been having back and shoulder pain/issues and have not been working for close to a year. While i don't have financial pressures, it's still a mental burden. Nonetheless my PC doctor had me do a home sleep test and I was found to have mild apnea.

Three months in and i'm still struggling to keep my CPAP on for more than hour. I typically wear it for 1/2-1 hour before bed without issue. Usually I can fall asleep but within 1/2-1 hour I wake and remove the CPAP. After a few hours i'll wake and try to put it back on and sometimes it's the feeling of suffocating and others it's just general anxiety that keeps me from being able to go back to sleep with it on. I'll also try using it again after about 6-7 hours and usually can tolerate it for an hour or so.

Occasionally i'll use it for an afternoon nap and don't usually have any problems sleeping for an hour or so. I do believe that when i'm able to tolerate it I do feel some improvement the next day. Looking for any advice you can offer and in the mean time i'll keep searching the database for relevant posts.

Thanks in advance,
The Sleepy One.
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Is it better if you try sleeping in a recliner or on your side?
Are you taking pain meds for the back and shoulder?

Do see the ENT; but, how about a cardiologist too?
You shouldn't be gagging with "mild" sleep apnea. You need a full workup.

Also, it sounds like anxiety is an issue. Talk to your doc about anxiety issues.
If he gives you a benzodiazapine, make sure it's short term use. Benos have a deep hook.
Don't mix benzos with opioid pain meds.

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Do you have ramp turned on? If so for how long and at what starting pressure.

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You said, "I can fall asleep but within 1/2-1 hour I wake and remove the CPAP" Why do you feel a need to remove it? What do you perceive when you wake up?

Your low end pressure is 6, that seems low to me. I'd want at least 7 to feel I was getting enough air.

And you should investigate other medical causes. An ENT is an excellent idea.

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Hi sleepy one,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I know CPAP therapy can take some getting used to but just stick with it, it does get better.
Hang in there for more suggestions and answers to your questions, much success to you with your CPAP therapy and getting it fine-tuned to meet your needs, don't give up.
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